13 November 2018
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Established 2005
Vickers Viscount Network
A Virtual Museum dedicated to the Vickers-Armstrongs VC2 Viscount
   

Viscount c/n 287

Operational Record

Photo of Viscount c/n 287
Capital Airlines (USA)


United States flag United States

This V.745D series Viscount was built for
Capital Airlines (USA) as N7476

It first flew on Sunday, 8 December 1957 at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England powered by Rolls-Royce Dart 510 engines.


Photo of Viscount c/n 287
Capital Airlines (USA)


United States flag United States

Its final owner/operator was
Capital Airlines (USA) as N7463.

Its fate:-
Crashed at Chase, Maryland, USA after encountering severe turbulence on a service from La Guardia Airport, New York, USA to Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, Atlanta, Georgia, USA 12 May 1959.

The Investigation Board determined that the probable cause of this accident was a loss of control of the aircraft in extreme turbulence resulting in an involuntary steep descent following which aerodynamic loads from a high airspeed, recovery, and turbulence exceeded the design strength of the aircraft structures.


Operational record
Photo of Capital Airlines (USA) Viscount N7476

Country of Registration United States

January 1957 to January 1958

Capital Airlines (USA)

N7476 - c/n 287 - a V.745D series Viscount
United States registered

August 1954
Order for V.745 and V.745D aircraft placed by Capital Airlines.

This was the 71st V.745 and the 74th Viscount ordered by Capital Airlines.

Production Aircraft No. 234 - the 234th production V.700 series Viscount built,
was the 173rd Viscount fuselage assembled at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England,
and the 189th Viscount assembled at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

Production Order No. F71/745. Sales Order No. 04/4C. Stock Order No. 04/36B.

circa March 1957
The original purchase by Capital Airlines with fleet number '394' was not completed.

4 April 1957
Fuselage assembly commenced at Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

27 May 1957
Fuselage to Erecting Shop 'E' at Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

26 November 1957
First engine run.

6 December 1957
First flight from Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England in bare metal condition still registered as N7476.

January 1958
Re-registered as N7463 for the eventual sale to Capital Airlines. This registration and fleet number '381' had previously been used on Capital Airlines Viscount c/n 225.


Photo of Capital Airlines (USA) Viscount N7463 *

Country of Registration United States

January 1958 to May 1959

Capital Airlines (USA)

N7463 * - c/n 287 - a V.745D series Viscount
United States registered

January 1958
Re-registered from N7476. This registration and fleet number '381' had previously been used on Capital Airlines Viscount c/n 225.

25 January 1958
Delivered to Capital Airlines with fleet number '381' fitted with integral front 'airsteps' and weather radar.

circa 1958
Large registrations on the rear fuselage appeared after the use of small registrations on the tail were banned by the newly formed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

12 May 1959
Crashed at Chase, Maryland, USA after encountering severe turbulence on a service from La Guardia Airport, New York, USA to Atlanta Municipal Airport, Georgia, USA.

Flight 75 taxied away from the terminal building at La Guardia Airport, New York, USA at 15:20 which was 20 minutes later than scheduled. It took off from runway 22 at 15:29 and climbed to its cruising altitude of 14,000 feet and onto the assigned airway Victor 3.

At 16:02 Flight 75 contacted air traffic control at Washington Center, reporting over Westchester and estimating Westminster at 16:17, with Herndon next. In the same message it advised, "… ah, we've got a pretty good string of thunderstorms along that course … ah, if we could stay in the clear and stay a little bit south of Westminster, is that O.K. with you?" The center controller replied "Capital 75, that'll be all right and report passing Westminster." The flight acknowledged.

At 16:10 the flight advised, "Ah, Washington Center, this is Capital 75, we've reduced to one seven zero knots account rough air." This was the last message from the flight. Just three minutes later the aircraft lost control in an area of severe turbulence and entered a steep descent.

The aircraft probably reached an airspeed in excess of 335 knots, which is 15 percent in excess of the Viscount never-to-exceed speed or about 5 percent in excess of VD, the maximum speed demonstrated in certification.

At an altitude of approximately 5,000 feet both horizontal stabilisers simultaneously failed downwards and separated from the tail section. The aircraft then pitched down violently resulting in all four Rolls-Royce Dart RDa6 Mark 510 engine nacelles breaking away in an upward direction from the combined inertia and gyroscopic loads. Immediately thereafter both wings were subjected to extreme downloads until the starboard wing separated and the structural integrity of the port wing was exceeded.

With the engine nacelles, starboard wing, and both stabilisers gone, drag induced by the port wing yawed the fuselage violently to the left. Forces to the left tore off the vertical fin with portions of the fuselage attached, the latter already weakened when the port stabiliser stub tore away. During the subsequent gyrations the port wing broke up, its fuel cells were opened and a flash fire occurred. At the same time the remaining fuselage section disintegrated.

Sadly all 27 passengers and 4 crew were sadly killed.

PROBABLE CAUSE: The Investigation Board determined that the probable cause of this accident was a loss of control of the aircraft in extreme turbulence resulting in an involuntary steep descent following which aerodynamic loads from a high airspeed, recovery, and turbulence exceeded the design strength of the aircraft structures.

Total time 4,180 hours and 3,000 total landings.


Photo of BEA - British European Airways Viscount G-AOJC

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